The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to double the number of commandos and induct 50 plus units consisting of 40 men each in the force, as per a media report.
At of now, the Garud Commando Force, is the special force’s unit of the Indian Air Force, has approximately 1080 personnel. Formed in 2004, its primary task is to protect IAF installations from terror attacks, conduct search and rescue during peace and war, and undertake counter-terrorism tasks and special missions.
Garuds have been effectively deployed as part Indian peacekeeping missions in support of the UN and for evacuation of Indian nationals from war zones.
The commando force conducts a 72-week basic training course, the longest among India’s SFs, and a trainee becomes a Garud in all senses only after almost three years of gruelling preparation.
Sealing off defense systems during invasions and conflicts too form part of their duties in times of extreme crises.
The IAF is taking this decision in wake of several terror attacks on Army bases like Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota.
The Indian Air Force has completed security audit of its almost 950 flying and non-flying bases in the aftermath of Pathankot terror attack and is likely to seek permission of the Defence Ministry to induct more Garud commandos. The audit has identified the chinks in the security and measures would be taken to plug them.